Governor Brown’s State of the State Address

In his State of the State address on January 24, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. reviewed the progress made toward resolving California’s budget issues and outlined the actions he would like to pursue in 2013. The Governor highlighted education, economic development, international trade, California Environmental Quality Act reform, water, and transportation financing as his top priorities.

Economic Recovery and Growth

The Governor stated that his new Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz) directly helped more than 5,000 companies in the past year. He called for changing both the enterprise zone program and the jobs hiring credit. The state needs to "rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act," the Governor said. "Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays."


The Governor remarked that water is central to the state’s life and one-sixth of that water flows through the San Joaquin Delta. If an earthquake, hundred-year storm or sea level rise causes the Delta to fail, he said, the disaster would be comparable to Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy, with losses of "at least $100 billion and 40,000 jobs." The Governor has proposed two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide "designed to improve the ecology of the Delta with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration. Yes, that is big, but so is the problem." The Governor compared the $14 billion price to the cost of the London Olympics, which lasted a short while whereas "this project will serve California for hundreds of years."

Climate Change

The Governor predicted California will meet the goal of getting carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Savings from reduced electricity consumption through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances have saved Californians $65 billion, "and we are not through yet," the Governor said. He added that the state will achieve more than 20 percent renewable energy this year and will get at least a third or more of its electricity from sun, wind and other renewable sources by 2020.

Transportation/High Speed Rail

The Governor said he has directed the Transportation Agency to review current priorities and explore long-term funding options. Turning to high speed rail, the Governor noted that he signed the original high speed rail authority more than 30 years ago, in 1982. In 2013, "we will finally break ground and start construction," he said, citing the story of "The Little Engine That Could."

In his closing remarks the Governor stated, "This is my 11th year in the job, and I have never been more excited. Two years ago, they were writing our obituary. Well it didn’t happen. California is back, its budget is balanced, and we are on the move. Let’s go out and get it done."

Article contributed by Trudi Hughes, Government Affairs Director

California League Of Food Producers